Towson's Pelton qualifies for her third swimming world championships

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On the second night of the Phillips 66 National Championships at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis, several swimmers with local ties clinched spots in Barcelona, Spain, for next month's FINA World Aquatic Championships.

Elizabeth Pelton, 19, a California sophomore from Towson, qualified for her third world championships on Wednesday after finishing second in the 200-meter backstroke behind the world-record holder, a future college teammate, Missy Franklin.


Pelton's time of 2 minutes, 6.29 seconds topped her personal best by more than 1.2 seconds and is the second-fastest swim in the world this year.

Franklin, who was the 2012 Olympics gold medalist, won in 2:05.68, a U.S. Open meet record.


Conor Dwyer of the North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC) qualified for his second world championships by placing second in the men's 200 freestyle.

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His time of 1:46.25 was just .28 of a second shy of Ryan Lochte's winning 1:45.97.

After winning the 800 freestyle Tuesday night, Bethesda native Katie Ledecky (Stone Ridge) qualified for her second event at the world championships. She finished second in the 200 freestyle in 1:57.63, more than two seconds behind Franklin's winning 1:55.56.

NBAC's Allison Schmitt, who won the gold medal in the 200 freestyle in last year's Olympics, placed ninth overall in the 200 freestyle.

She was unable to advance to the "A" final in preliminary heats but won the consolation final Wednesday night.

Fellow NBAC swimmers Gillian Ryan and Cierra Runge finished 10th and 18th, respectively.

Other local swimmers racing in championship finals Wednesday night included Stanford's Felicia Lee (Towson High), who placed fourth in the women's 50 butterfly in 26.54; NBAC's Annie Zhu, who finished fifth in the 200 breaststroke in 2:26.52; Jack Conger (Good Counsel), who placed fifth in the men's 200 backstroke in 1:56.82; and Giles Smith (McDonogh), who finished fifth in the 50 butterfly in 23.96.

Day three of the championships begins Thursday at 9 a.m., with men's and women's preliminary heats of the 400 individual medley, 100 butterfly, 50 breaststroke and 50 backstroke.